MQM sweeps NA-245, PS-115 by-polls

KARACHI: MQM on Thursday achieved a sweeping victory in the by-polls in NA-245 and PS-115, according to unofficial results.
MQM’s candidate, Kamal Malick, secured more than 39,000 votes, while PPP’s Shahid Hussain grabbed around 3,000 votes for the NA-245 seat.
A large number of MQM supporters and activists were seen celebrating the victory in the constituency.
Earlier, PTI candidate for NA-245 Amjadullah Khan announced his decision to withdraw in favour of the MQM candidate, citing neglect for his campaign on part of the PTI.
Flanked by MQM leaders Amir Khan and Kanwar Naveed, Amjadullah Khan announced his decision to withdraw in favour of MQM’s Kamal Malick at an early Thursday press conference, held at the Khursheed Memorial Hall at MQM’s Nine Zero headquarters.
The PTI candidate accused his party of neglecting him and alleged that PTI chief Imran Khan did not even make a telephone call to him during his campaign for the constituency. He added that the PS-115 provincial constituency, where by-polls are taking place today as well, was the sole focus of PTI.
The national and provincial seats had fallen vacant after MQM MNA Rehan Hashmi resigned from NA-245 and MPA Dr Arshad Vohra from PS-115 when the party assigned them key positions in the upcoming local government system after the Dec 5 polls.
The North Nazimabad and North Karachi constituency of NA-245 has long been a stronghold of the MQM where its candidate Hashmi bagged 115,776 votes to emerge victorious in the 2013 general elections when the percentage of votes polled stood at 54.28.
Similarly, Dr Vohra won the PS-115 seat, which consists of Lines Area localities, in the 2013 general elections with 55,804 votes when the percentage of votes polled stood at 53.30.
On the seats, PTI candidates emerged as runners-up with 54,937 and 18,622 votes, respectively. The PTI insisted that the 2013 elections were not fair and for Thursday’s by-polls the party looked hopeful that the results would be in its favour; so did its rival MQM.
With PTI candidate’s departure, there are 15 candidates vying for the NA seat, although the main contest is now likely between the MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal, which have fielded Kamal Malick, Shahid Hussain and Abdul Rasheed, respectively.
For the Sindh Assembly seat, of the 14 candidates the actual contest would be between Faisal Rafiq of the MQM, Amjad Asif of the PTI, Saeed Chowla of the PPP and Ehsanullah Hazarvi of the JUI-F.
The Mohajir Qaumi Movement, better known as Haqiqi, has also fielded its candidate, Jameel Qadri, for PS-115 after maintaining a low profile for the past several months.

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